0421-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 21 Apr 2018, Saturday

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Constructed by: Daniel Nierenberg
Edited by: Will Shortz

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Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 14m 59s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. “Fifty Shades of Grey,” e.g. : EROTIC NOVEL

“Fifty Shades of Grey” is an incredibly popular erotic novel by British writer E. L. James. “Fifty Shades of Grey” is the fastest-selling paperback of all time. And there are two other titles to complete the trilogy: “Fifty Shades Darker” and “Fifty Shades Freed”.

12. Wite-Out manufacturer : BIC

Wite-Out is a brand of correction fluid made by Bic.

15. Procedure that targets mutations : GENE THERAPY

Gene therapy is an experimental technology used to treat disease. The basic principle is to transplant genes into a patient’s cells in order to cure a disease caused by the absence of those genes.

16. Card game cry : UNO!

UNO is a card game that was developed in the early seventies and that has been sold by Mattel since 1992. UNO falls into the “shedding” family of card games, in that the goal is to get rid of all your cards while preventing opponents from doing the same.

22. Qtys. for chefs : TSPS

Teaspoon (tsp.)

23. Spinoff of TV’s “JAG” : NCIS

NCIS is the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which investigates crimes in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The service gives its name to the CBS TV show “NCIS”, a spin-off drama from “JAG” in which the main “NCIS” characters were first introduced. The big star in “NCIS” is the actor Mark Harmon. “NCIS” is now a franchise, with spin-off shows “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “NCIS: New Orleans”.

The legal drama “JAG” is named for the highest ranking uniformed lawyer in the US Navy, the Judge Advocate General. Apparently the show was created as a cross between “Top Gun” and “A Few Good Men”.

26. Aid for achieving a flat stomach? : CORSET

A corset is a close-fitting undergarment that is stiffened with a material such as whalebone. Corsets are more usually worn by women, to shape the body. The word “corset” is a diminutive of the Old French “cors” meaning “body”.

28. ___ Corporation, predecessor of RC Cola’s Royal Crown Company : NEHI

Nehi Corporation was the nickname for the Chero-Cola/Union Bottle Works that introduced the Nehi drink in 1924. Years later the company developed a new brand, Royal Crown Cola (also known as RC Cola). By 1955, RC Cola was the company’s flagship product, so the “Nehi Corporation” became the “Royal Crown Company”. In 1954, RC Cola became the first company to sell soft drinks in cans.

37. “Zoolander” co-star, 2001 : FERRELL

Will Ferrell is a comedian and comic actor from Irvine, California who got his big break as a cast member on “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) in the mid-nineties. While appearing on SNL, Ferrell was noted for several impersonations, including President George W. Bush, Neil Diamond, James Lipton, Ted Kennedy and Janet Reno.

“Zoolander” is a 2001 movie starring Ben Stiller, with Ben’s father, Jerry Stiller in a supporting role. Derek Zoolander is a male model, with the name coming from a melding of two real-life make models, Mark Vanderloo and Johnny Zander.

38. Purplish-red hue : CLARET

Clairet is a dark rosé wine. Although it is uncommon today, clairet used to be the most common wine produced in the Bordeaux region of France. For centuries now, English consumers have used the derivative term “claret” to describe any red wine from Bordeaux.

41. Revolving barriers : STILES

A stile is a structure allowing people to pass over or through a fence, while at the same time preventing livestock from escaping. The derivative term “turnstile” describes a revolving structure in a wall or fence that allows the controlled passage of people.

46. Attire that’s often checkered : KILT

The Scottish skirt called a “kilt” takes its name from the Middle English word “kilten” meaning “to tuck up”. The idea is that the kilt can be tucked up around the body to give freedom to the legs.

57. Motor Trend’s 1968 Car of the Year : GTO

The Pontiac GTO was produced by GM from 1964 to 1974, and again by a GM subsidiary in Australia from 2004 to 2006. The original GTO’s design is credited to Pontiac chief engineer at the time John DeLorean, who later was found the DeLorean Motor Company.

58. Subject of the Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges : GAY MARRIAGE

Obergefell v. Hodges is the 2015 case in which the US Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have the fundamental right to marry. Famously, President Obama had the White House illuminated in rainbow colors on the night of the ruling.

59. Windows alternative : OS X

Apple introduced the OS X Operating System in 2000. Each version of this operating system has had a code name, and that code name until recently has been a type of big cat. The versions and code names are:

  • 10.0: Cheetah
  • 10.1: Puma
  • 10.2: Jaguar
  • 10.3: Panther
  • 10.4: Tiger
  • 10.5: Leopard
  • 10.6: Snow Leopard
  • 10.7: Lion
  • 10.8: Mountain Lion
  • 10.9: Mavericks
  • 10.10: Yosemite
  • 10.11: El Capitan
  • 10.12: macOS Sierra

Down

6. Marxist from Argentina : CHE

Ernesto “Che” Guevara was born in Argentina, and in 1948 he started to study medicine at the University of Buenos Aires. While at school he satisfied his need to “see the world” by taking two long journeys around South America, the story of which are told in Guevara’s memoir later published as “The Motorcycle Diaries”. While travelling, Guevara was moved by the plight of the people he saw and their working conditions and what he viewed as capitalistic exploitation. In Mexico City he met brothers Raul and Fidel Castro and was persuaded to join their cause, the overthrow of the US-backed government in Cuba. He rose to second-in-command among the Cuban insurgents, and when Castro came to power Guevara was influential in repelling the Bay of Pigs Invasion and bringing Soviet nuclear missiles to the island. Guevara left Cuba in 1965 to continue his work as a revolutionary. He was captured by Bolivian forces in 1967, and was executed. Fidel Castro led the public mourning of Guevara’s death, and soon the revolutionary was an icon for many left-wing movements around the world.

7. Super Mario Bros. platform : NES

Mario Bros. started out as an arcade game back in 1983, developed by Nintendo. The more famous of the two brothers, Mario, had already appeared in an earlier arcade game “Donkey Kong”. Mario was given a brother called Luigi, and the pair have been around ever since. In the game, Mario and Luigi are Italian American plumbers from New York City.

9. Bag : VALISE

“Valise” is a French word for “suitcase”.

10. Competition whose opponents try to touch each other : EPEE

The French word for sword is “épée”. In competitive fencing the épée is connected to a system that records an electrical signal when legal contact is made on an opponent’s body.

11. Ending with electro- : -LYSIS

Electrolysis is a chemical process that uses direct current passing through a solution to separate out individual chemicals in that solution. One chemical moves to the anode, and the other to the cathode.

12. Fruity Asian drink : BUBBLE TEA

Bubble tea, sometimes called Boba tea, is a tea-based drink from Taiwan.

21. Dada, to its critics : NONART

Dadaism thrived during and just after WWI, and was an anti-war, anti-bourgeois and anti-art culture. The movement began in Zurich, Switzerland started by a group of artists and writers who met to discuss art and put on performances in the Cabaret Voltaire, frequently expressing disgust at the war that was raging across Europe.

30. Predator of penguins : ORCA

The taxonomic name for the killer whale is “Orcinus orca”. The use of the name “orca”, rather than “killer whale”, is becoming more and more common. The Latin word “Orcinus” means “belonging to Orcus”, with Orcus being the name for the Kingdom of the Dead.

35. Fourth god to exist, in Greek myth : EROS

As always seems to be the case with Greek gods, Eros and Aphrodite have overlapping spheres of influence. Aphrodite was the goddess of love between a man and a woman, and Eros was the god who stirred the passions of the male. The Roman equivalent of Aphrodite was Venus, and the equivalent of Eros was Cupid.

44. One of the detectives in “Lethal Weapon” : RIGGS

The “Lethal Weapon” series of film features Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in the lead roles as Sergeants Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh. All four films in the series were directed by Richard Donner.

46. Ron who wrote “Born on the Fourth of July” : KOVIC

“Born on the Fourth of July” is an autobiography by a paralyzed Vietnam War veteran who became an anti-war figure on return to the US. The author is Ron Kovic, who is played by Tom Cruise in a 1989 screen adaptation directed by Oliver Stone (for which Stone won an Academy Award). The book title is a play on the lyrics of the song “Yankee Doodle Dandy”.

47. Pistons great Thomas : ISIAH

Isiah Thomas played his whole professional career with the Detroit Pistons, and he is now the head coach with the Florida International University Golden Panthers. When you’re out shopping for popcorn, keep an eye out for the Dale & Thomas brand, as it’s co-owned by Isiah Thomas.

48. Starting point for rappelling : LEDGE

What we call “rappelling” in this country is known as “abseiling” in the rest of the world (from the German “abseilen” meaning “to rope down”).

51. Landform near a loch : BRAE

“Brae” is a lowland Scots word for the slope or brow of a hill.

“Loch” is the Scottish Gaelic word for “lake”. The Irish Gaelic word is “lough”.

52. Currency unit equal to 100 kurus : LIRA

The currency of Turkey is the Turkish lira, which is divided into 100 kuruş. In 1927, the Turkish lira replaced the Ottoman lira, which had been in use since 1844.

55. Body image, for short : TAT

The word “tattoo” (often shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word “tatau” into our “tattoo”. Tattoos are also sometimes referred to as “ink”.

56. Gynecologist of cinema : DR T

The 2000 movie “Dr. T & the Women” is a pretty good film, starring Richard Gere in the title role. It’s a romantic comedy about a gynecologist, and the women in his private and public life. The list of actresses playing those women is impressive, and includes Helen Hunt, Farrah Fawcett, Laura Dern, Shelley Long, Kate Hudson and Liv Tyler.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. “Fifty Shades of Grey,” e.g. : EROTIC NOVEL
12. Wite-Out manufacturer : BIC
15. Procedure that targets mutations : GENE THERAPY
16. Card game cry : UNO!
17. Events of interest to antiquers : ESTATE SALES
18. Bud drinker? : BEE
19. Child’s request : STORY
20. What people rarely do with shoes on : LIE IN BED
22. Qtys. for chefs : TSPS
23. Spinoff of TV’s “JAG” : NCIS
25. Convinced : SOLD
26. Aid for achieving a flat stomach? : CORSET
28. ___ Corporation, predecessor of RC Cola’s Royal Crown Company : NEHI
30. “You flatter me” : OH, STOP IT!
34. Like some blankets and arguments : HEATED
36. Familiar work force add-ons, maybe : REHIRES
37. “Zoolander” co-star, 2001 : FERRELL
38. Purplish-red hue : CLARET
39. Rock sample? : DEMO TAPE
40. Second hand : AIDE
41. Revolving barriers : STILES
43. Have-nots, with “the” : POOR
45. No-no for an offensive lineman : HOLD
46. Attire that’s often checkered : KILT
50. Like many easy-to-digest foods : LOW FIBER
52. Juvenile put-down : LOSER
53. Baseball or basketball : ORB
54. Passage between life and death : GREAT DIVIDE
57. Motor Trend’s 1968 Car of the Year : GTO
58. Subject of the Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges : GAY MARRIAGE
59. Windows alternative : OS X
60. Common two-word email : SEE ATTACHED

Down

1. Purge : EGEST
2. Pauses : RESTS
3. #1 in the standings : ON TOP
4. Show of emotion : TEARS
5. Minute, in baby talk : ITTY
6. Marxist from Argentina : CHE
7. Super Mario Bros. platform : NES
8. Teacher of lip-reading to the deaf : ORALIST
9. Bag : VALISE
10. Competition whose opponents try to touch each other : EPEE
11. Ending with electro- : -LYSIS
12. Fruity Asian drink : BUBBLE TEA
13. Words accompanying a raised hand, maybe : I NEED HELP
14. Mixed, in a way : COED
21. Dada, to its critics : NONART
23. Hotel room restriction : NO PETS
24. N.F.L. Hall-of-Famer Carter : CRIS
26. Heart : CORE
27. Topical : THEMED
29. Not doing too much : IDLE
30. Predator of penguins : ORCA
31. Sites for some touchdowns : HELIPORTS
32. Punch the air : SHADOW BOX
33. Get bored with : TIRE OF
35. Fourth god to exist, in Greek myth : EROS
37. Dropped : FELL
39. Science fair display : DIORAMA
42. A dirty look : THE EYE
44. One of the detectives in “Lethal Weapon” : RIGGS
46. Ron who wrote “Born on the Fourth of July” : KOVIC
47. Pistons great Thomas : ISIAH
48. Starting point for rappelling : LEDGE
49. Stuck, in a way : TREED
50. Expense for a business start-up : LOGO
51. Landform near a loch : BRAE
52. Currency unit equal to 100 kurus : LIRA
55. Body image, for short : TAT
56. Gynecologist of cinema : DR T

8 thoughts on “0421-18 NY Times Crossword Answers 21 Apr 2018, Saturday”

  1. 28:06, no errors. I actually ripped through most of this in short order, feeling rather pleased with myself, and then came to a complete stop, in the lower right, for what seemed like an eon. But, that stubborn Norwegian side I got from my mother wouldn’t let me give up … and the lights finally came on … ?

  2. 35:06 My solve was just like Dave’s. I moved pretty easily through most of it until the bottom right. I kept thinking Obergefell was about Obamacare even though I knew that was wrong. I also had mri for “body image” for awhile.

  3. 32:30, and DNF, with 16 entries either unfilled or incorrect. The right side of the puzzle proved my undoing. Know nothing about Zoolander… I kept looking to fit DRUM SOLO into the “Rock sample?” space, and had SURE in place of SOLD for 25A. Wasn’t going to happen with that many self-inflicted handicaps.

  4. 34:41, no errors. Puzzle looked like a DNF many times. Extremely vague clueing led to a myriad of possible answers, until the proper cross entries were discovered. 11D entered LYTIC before LYSIS; 17A did not have ESTATE filled in, so was looking for some type of SHOWS, before SALES. 40A entered USED for ‘Second hand’ before AIDE. 55D initially put in the M for MRI, giving me some type of DREAM in 54A, and RIDGE in 44D rather than RIGGS. Just happy to complete this one.

  5. 24 minutes, no errors. Could have easily flipped this with the other one as far as difficulty. To be honest, I was a bit surprised at how quick this fell for me…

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